Andean Ibis Theristicus branickii Scientific name definitions

Fernando Medrano and Peter Pyle
Version: 2.0 — Published May 12, 2023



Little known. In one study in Ecuador, copulation was recorded in mid-November, egg-laying occurred in November, December, and February, egg-hatching occurred from late November to early March, and chicks left their nests between late February and early May (28). Across the rest of the distribution, it may have a similar phenology, with nests recorded in Cuzco in January, with well-grown chicks in mid-February (Allasi Condo, eBird; Saire and Conori, eBird).

Nest Site

Selection Process

Information needed.


Information needed.

Site Characteristics

All documented nests have been found on cliff faces (28; Allasi Condo, eBird; Saire and Conori, eBird). In Ecuador, one study found that all the nests were placed on cliffs near waterfalls (mean distance of 5.5 ± 2.1 m), and were oriented southwest; nests were built on flat stone ledges on cliffs. Nest height above the ground ranged between 8 and 33 m (n = 4 nests; 28).


Structure and Composition

Nests are bulky platform structures. In Ecuador, nests were described as being constructed with "short twigs, straws, and shredded pieces of fine vegetation" (28).


In one study in Ecuador, nest width ranged between 40–98 cm, had a depth between 35–158 cm, and a height between 30–152 cm (n = 4 nests; 28).


All nests were within close range of waterfalls where decibel levels ranged from 12–69 dB (28).

Maintenance and Reuse of Nests

Luzuriaga et al. (28) reported that one nest platform was reused two years after initially being discovered with two chicks; additional nesting material was added in the subsequent breeding season.



Oval shape (28).


Approximately 4.5 to 5 cm in length (28). Width not described.


Information needed.

Eggshell Thickness

Information needed.

Color and Surface Texture

Eggs have been described as light brown with dark brown dots, especially concentrated at the large end (28).

Clutch Size

All known nests had a clutch of two eggs (n = 4 nests) (28).

Egg Laying

Eggs are laid asynchronously (28).


Incubation Patches

Information needed.

Incubation Period

Luzuriaga et al. (28) assumed the incubation period to be about 27 d, based on the incubation period of Black-faced Ibis, but nothing is specifically known about incubation period in Andean Ibis.

Parental Behavior

Very little information. In one study in Ecuador, it was reported that parents alternated incubation duties (28).


Preliminary Events and Vocalizations

Information needed.

Shell Breaking and Emergence

In one study from Ecuador, within a nest, eggs hatched asynchronously over a 48 h period (28).

Young Birds

Condition at Hatching

Information needed.

Growth and Development

Very little information. Nestlings began stretching their wings and practicing flight during week 6 after hatching, and were able to fly and leave the nest by the end of week 7 after hatching (28).

Parental Care


Little known. In one study, one parent stayed with the chicks during the first three weeks after egg-hatching, with parents alternating every 3 h during the first 2 weeks (28).


Both parents feed the chicks. In a study in Ecuador, feeding rates varied over the course of the nestling period, but generally chicks were fed 3–5 times a day. At one nest, feeding visits, recorded as the percent of time adults spent at the nest feeding, ranged from 8–15%, and was lower in weeks 6 and 7 (11% and 8%, respectively) compared to weeks 3 and 4 (14% and 15%, respectively) (28).

Nest Sanitation

Information needed.

Carrying of Eggs or Young

Nothing known but unlikely.

Cooperative Breeding

Nothing known but unlikely.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Nothing known but unlikely.

Fledgling Stage

Departure from the Nest

In Ecuador, nestlings fledged at about 49 d after hatching (28).


Information needed.

Association with Parents or Other Young

Fledglings are fed after the leaving the nest. In one study, young were observed foraging with their parents up to 10 months after fledging. Others were noted in larger flocks that roosted together which likely also contained their parents and family groups from other nests (28).

Ability to get Around, Feed, and Care for Self

By the end of week 7 after hatching, young were able to fly and were observed foraging near the nest site (28).

Immature Stage

Very little information. Marked young were seen 20 km away from their nest (28).

Recommended Citation

Medrano, F. and P. Pyle (2023). Andean Ibis (Theristicus branickii), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bkfibi2.02